Say this prayer (or something that expresses the same idea, if you don’t believe in God—perhaps resolve to be open-minded):
‘God, I hereby renounce all preconceived opinions; please set aside for me my present habits of thought and my present views and prejudices; please jettison anything and everything that can stand in the way of my finding the truth; remove my fear of public opinion and of the disapproval of relatives or friends; help me see that my most cherished beliefs may be mistaken and that my ideas and views of life may be false and in need of recasting. Let me start again at the very beginning and learn life anew.’
Before you begin, make a list of the types of sexual behaviour that are causing a problem because you are engaging in them excessively or at all, despite negative consequences:
- Flirting or hunting for sex
- Use of dating/hook-up apps
- Predatory or pressurising behaviour
- Sex with negative consequences
- Other: ___________
We’re going to call this ‘acting out’.
You will have to substitute ‘acting out’ for drinking when reading the passages in the Big Book.
Opening paragraphs—the definition of alcoholism
When you controlled your acting out, did you enjoy yourself? When you enjoyed it, could you control it?
Have you thought you were getting better, only to get worse again?
Is this you?
Could you do this, consistently?
The Man of Thirty
Read the story about the ‘man of thirty’ (32:2–33:1).
Have you stopped for a while but started again?
Was the physical craving still there when you started again?
If you slipped today, do you believe you could come back into recovery?
Jim’s Story—the ‘peculiar mental twist’
Read Jim’s story (35:2–37:2).
Jim was doing OK on the outside but drank anyway. Do you believe you’ll stay clean because you’re doing OK on the outside?
Bill, on pages 14/15 enlarges his spiritual life by work and self-sacrifice for others, whilst Jim, on pages 35 and 36, make some progress but does not enlarge his spiritual life.
Are you making every effort to live inside the three sides of the recovery triangle—recovery, fellowship, and service?
Jim’s insane thought—that the milk with the whiskey will keep him safe from a binge—comes suddenly, with no warning.
Has your mind ever given you a crazy excuse for acting out? Has that ever happened suddenly?
The Parallel-Thinker—’the curious mental phenomenon’
Have you ever argued in your head about whether or not to act out?
Can you consistently win those arguments?
Read the jaywalker story (37:3–38:3).
Do you have a history of acting out for thrills or kicks, despite the consequences?
Fred’s Story—the ‘strange mental blank spot’
Read Fred’s story (39:2–43:1).
Fred thought he’d stay sober now he knew he was an alcoholic.
When did you realise you were in trouble with your acting out? Did that knowledge stop you and keep you stopped?
Fred imagined he’d have two nice cocktails with dinner, and he does exactly that. But his mind does not tell him what will happen after that.
What he thinks is true but incomplete—this is the strange mental blank spot.
Have you ever experienced this?
Are you an addict?
Are you defeated?
Do you need a Higher Power?